Friday, May 18, 2007

Ban the bomb!

I'm powering through The Loud Silence of Francine Green. I had finished On the Wings of Heroes "early" (before the end of the weekend), and thus didn't have a copy of the book I wanted to start available when there was listening time (and I can't let a moment of listening time get away!). So I picked up the shortest one from my nominated stash at home, and now I'm trying to get through it (five disks) by this weekend.

I think I'll make it. Francine reminds me in many ways of Shug, although Francine's world is pretty different (post World War II, anti-Communist Los Angeles), and also of Dewey Kerrigan from The Green Glass Sea (coming soon to audio, but read by me). Francine goes to Catholic school, with a preposterously hilarious crew of teaching nuns (all probably portrayed from life, but I've got no experience to draw upon), and she has befriended the class misfit: Sophie Bowman. Sophie's a real free thinker -- with opinions on the Hollywood blacklist, nuclear proliferation, what makes a saint -- so much so that even Francine has difficulty remaining her friend. It's not clear (nearing the end of disk 4) what -- if anything -- is going to happen, but it's a mildly entertaining novel. Author Karen Cushman takes Richard Peck's approach: describe the historical world accurately and let the reader decide if they want to find out more. There's lots and lots here about Montgomery Clift; I wonder who today's equivalent of him would be.

The reader, though,is just not a standout -- she does teenage girls very well, but seems to be struggling with her voices for adults and her baby brother (the only boy who appears in the novel). Everyone sounds a little off, a little awkwardly unreal.


Robin said...

The Green Glass Sea is now out on audiobook, on CDs or cassettes:

leecat said...

Yikes, Robin! Someone's reading my blog! How exciting. Thanks. Anyway ... thanks for the info on the Green Glass Sea. My box from Recorded Books hasn't arrived yet, but it's in there. I think it's trapped somewhere in Technical Services since all of my committee colleagues have received it.